Nocturne Games is a one man games developer that uses the Yoyo Games tool "GameMaker" to make high quality games for all to enjoy!

RSS GameMaker HTML5 and my game PIXEL Blast

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I have been lucky enough to be in on a minor revolution in the world of casual gaming... HTML5 canvas! Many people have said that the domination of flash on the internet was due to finish and thanks to this new standard it seems that that time may just have come, as thanks to the wonders of this new standard many things that flash does can now be imitated, and that includes GAMES!

One of the companies to get in on this at an early stage and bet on the future of HTML5 as a gaming platform is YoyoGames who recently released their open beta of GM:HTML5, and I have been lucky enough to recieve a free copy of this program due to my duties as a mod at the GMC (thank you YoyoGames!).

So what does it offer? Well, for those unfamiliar with the GameMaker program (currently at version 8.1), it offers an easy to use IDE for creating games... predominantly 2D but with capabilities for 3D too. You can find more information and free, functional version at the official Yoyo games site HERE. The HTML5 of this program has the 8.1 windows engine but the ability to set the compile target to HTML5, in which case your game will be created as a JavaScript file (with all the necessary assets) plus an index.html file to run it.

In a previous blog post I commented on the fact that the skin of this version was dark themd with orange highlights, and that is the case... but Yoyo have listened to the complaints of people who dislike this and included the oprion to change and customise the theme, which I personally am glad about! Apart from this minor cosmetic change the structure of the IDE itself remains unchanged and although it's showing it's age, it's still easy and efficient to use.

And the HTML5 games you can make? Well, I was initially disappointed to find that NONE of my current WIPs nor my old games were able to be loaded and run as HTML5 games due to the fact that JavaScript, and the HTML5 format itself, imposes restrictions on what can be done and the fact that the runner is still in beta stages, so without certain functions. My disappointment lasted only a second as I set out to create my first HTML5 game...

One month later and I have completed my first game! Say hello to :

PixelBlast Banner

Now, as I was unfamiliar with just what GM can do with HTML5, I decided to keep this simple and so I created an arena shooter in an old school retro style. The creation was actually remarkably easy and trouble-free with only a few bugs being found in GM (which have mostly since been fixed thanks to the rapid respone by YoyoGames to all reported bugs), but the OPTIMISATION was a royal pain! I have had to re-think many of the things I took for granted when creating games in GM8.1 as a lot of the functions and ways of doing things just aren't efficient enough for a browser game... especially when you don't know which browser and what kind of machine will be running it! Someone with an ├╝ber PC running Chrome may play the game without any problems, but someone on a tab using Safari may experience lag, so I had to go through ALL my codes and re-write a great many things to make sure that it works, and even then I have included a GFX option so that the user can raise or lower the graphics quality to suit their device of choice...

You can find the results of my labours here : Cryset.co.uk
and here is a screen to show how it looks with the high GFX option :

PIXELBlast screen 1

So, my experience with GM:HTML5? It is wonderful software with a few kinks that are getting ironed out very quickly by those nice guys at YoYoGames, and it has certainly given me a kick in the pants to get working on new and different projects with the hope that they will achieve a wider audience through the use of browsers to play instead of having to download an exe.

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